Thursday, April 24, 2014
A Restaurant Worth Writng About--the Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn (Park Slope) by Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley
It doesn't take much, seafood wise, to make me happy. Growing up in New Orleans and enjoying shrimp, oysters, crabs, crayfish, oysters and whatever the Gulf of Mexico and the bayous had to offer made my core existence 'seafood oriented' and far from meat--except for the rare cannibal burger from Camilla Grill (uptown New Orleans) and Bud's Broiler's famous grilled BBQ burger.
The New Orleans experience has taken me to corners of the world where seafood is cherished. I must admit, going to the newly opened 'Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn' in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn does not mentally compare with dining on seafood at the Isle of Capri's (Italy) premier restaurant, La Capannina.
What I quickly learned was that the seafood at the Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn was as fresh and tasty as any seafood I have tasted anywhere in the world, including the Isle of Capri. Maria Reveley, my writing partner, photographer and wife joined me for this seafood excursion to Park Slope. The reason we came to the Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn was for both curiosity and for the fresh 'Crayfish Boil', a Wednesday night special.
Proprietor Jonathon Young explained that the 25 cent Bluepoint oysters are popular with the kids when they visit the restaurant with their parents. He explained that last week, a four year old, ate two dozen oysters in record time. It brings back pleasant memories of my early days in New Orleans, where my parents claimed that I ate ten pounds of crayfish in less than thirty minutes. I was eight years old.
Mr. Young, a happy and hard working entrepreneur, explained that the restaurant is nearly complete. There are a few details to complete before the launch. He explained that the restaurant is like a Broadway play, the Previews are ending and the Opening Night is within sight.
As a customer, the restaurant looked complete to me--great ambiance--terrific waitstaff--knowledgeable--a complete wine list that matches perfectly with seafood--and a beer line-up, both draft and in bottles that has few holes (add an IPA and Abita from New Orleans to the line-up).
The menu is extensive, with highlights of Shrimp Etouffee, a crayfish boil on Wednesdays, crab cakes to die for, Happy Hour specials and a menu with over 57 selections (I counted them), 18 oyster choices plus little neck and cherrystone clams.
Wednesday nights during crayfish season features a 'Crayfish Boil' with corn on the cobb, fingerling potatoes and cole slaw ($18.95)
I have not been to a seafood restaurant that I enjoyed as much as the 'Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn' in a very long time. I came because I heard about the crayfish and knew that fresh crayfish are hard to find in New York. The trip from mid-town Manhattan on the subway (D line is best) took less than twenty minutes.
I encourage you to take the trip and try what I consider New York's 'Freshest and Best Seafood Restaurant'.
You can find the 'Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn' online at: www.OysterBarBrooklyn.com
The restaurant is located at 256 Fifth Avenue (Park Slope) Brooklyn.
Call (347) 294-0596
Open noon-10pm daily
Happy Hour 5-7pm Everyday
The beer list includes on Tap: Angry Orchard Cider,Brooklyn Summer Ale, Lelso 'Nut Brown', Bluepoint 'Hoptical Illusion'. Lagunitas 'Czech Style Pilzner', Anchor Steam, Narragansett Lager, Stella Artois, Bronx Pale Ale and Porterhouse 'Oyster Stout'.
The wine list is extensive 62 wines) , featuring Sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and various other wines, including Roses and a few Sake offerings.
Philip S. Kampe